Marine Fisheries accepting comments on two diamondback terrapin management areas; Southern Regional Advisory Committee will meet by teleconference on April 8

MOREHEAD CITY

The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries is accepting public comments on two proposed diamondback terrapin management areas in the southern coastal area of the state, where fishermen will be required to use turtle excluders in crab pots.

The public may provide comment to the division (which will be submitted to the Marine Fisheries Commission) in the following two ways:

  1. Online Comments – Public comments will be accepted until 5 p.m. April 23 through an online format that can be accessed through a link on the Blue Crab Fishery Management Plan Information webpage
  2. Mailed Comments – Written comments may be mailed to Diamondback Terrapin Management Area Comments, P.O Box 769, Morehead City, N.C. 28557. Comments must be received by the division by 5 p.m. April 23

Emailed comments will not be accepted.

The Southern Regional Advisory Committee is scheduled to discuss and vote on the proposed areas at a meeting to be held at 6 p.m., April 8. The proposed areas must receive final approval by the Marine Fisheries Commission before being implemented.

Based on the current guidance to help minimize the spread of COVID-19, the April 8 meeting will be held by teleconference. The public may listen to the committee discussions online. A link to the webcast, as well as information on system requirements and testing, can be found here. Public comment will not be taken during the meeting; however, the public may provide written comments to the advisory committee in the following two ways:

  1. Online Comments – Public comments will be accepted until 5 p.m. April 6 through an online format by clicking here (online comments may be submitted in both places, for the advisory committee and for the division/Marine Fisheries Commission).
  2. Mailed Comments – Written comments may be mailed to Southern Regional Advisory Committee Comments, P.O Box 769, Morehead City, N.C. 28557. Comments must be received by the division by 5 p.m. April 6.

Emailed comments will not be accepted.

The proposed management areas are:

  1. The Masonboro Island Diamondback Terrapin Management Area, which lies entirely within, and shares nearly the entire boundary with, the Masonboro Island Estuarine Research Reserve and Natural Area. This area is also naturally bounded on the east by Masonboro Island, and on the west by the Intracoastal Waterway.
  2. The Bald Head Island Diamondback Terrapin Management Area, which is comprised of Zeke’s Island Estuarine Research Reserve in the northern portion of the management area and the Bald Head Island State Natural Area as the southern portion. This area is also naturally bounded by a barrier island to the east, and Bald Head island to the south. The western boundary of this management area follows “the wall,” which is a rock structure that separates the Cape Fear River from Buzzard Bay and serves as the boundary for the Zeke’s Island Estuarine Research Reserve. At the end of the wall, the boundary runs on a line southwesterly to the northern tip of Bald Head Island.

A meeting agenda and more specifics on the proposed management areas can be found on the Blue Crab Fishery Management Plan Information webpage. For more information contact division biologists Corrin Flora at 252-264-3911 or Joe Facendola at 910-796-7291.
 

 WHO:

Southern Regional Advisory Committee

WHAT:

Meeting on Diamondback Terrapin Management Areas

WHEN:

April 8 at 6 p.m.

WHERE:

Meeting by Teleconference
Click Here for Link and Instructions
 

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